This afternoon, Adam Jones spoke to the media. While reports throughout the day have Jones and his representation, plus the team coming to a contract extension, the center-fielder says a deal isn’t forthcoming.
Whether or not that’s true, who really knows. I’m sure a deal has been in the works for a while; however, the news of this all came out within the last day or so.
The Sun’s Dan Connolly and the local media spoke to Jones this afternoon.
The deal is expected to be six years in length and worth in the mid-$80 million range.
“I wish I could tell you more, but there’s nothing to tell because there is nothing being done right now,” Jones said. “I wish I had bells and whistles to tell you. Trust me, I do. But I don’t.”
Asked whether negotiations between Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and Jones’ agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, were ongoing, Jones said, “My agent’s in town. He’s got a flight out of here in a couple hours. Hopefully he can stay for [an agreement].
Jones may or may not be involved in the negotations, he might have his poker face on or might not have a clue; however, I don’t think he’s at all naive. He knows what’s going on. From what I’ve seen from Jones, he’s way too savvy to be clueless.
I would think that considering the reports and the work that has been done, a deal will get done — if not today, this weekend, or next week.
However, I did find this passage in Connolly’s article telling:
He said he has not spoken directly to club principal owner Peter Angelos during the process.
“I have not. I want to though,” Jones said. “I really do want to talk to him about a lot of things. That I have ideas of, ‘What’s the goal? What are we going to do here?’ If I’m a part of it, I’m a part of it. If not … I’m a grown man. It’s a business.”
Jones also talked about the importance of keeping a core group of players together – and he dipped into the recent history of an American League East rival.
“Look at the players I have around me,” Jones said. “The core is all 25, 26. I am 26 myself. If it is something that we can build until we are in our 30s, that would be a good thing. If you have a strong core that can work together similar to what New York has had with [Derek] Jeter, Mariano [Rivera], [Jorge] Posada, [Andy] Pettitte … the core is our future, and we have a good team here and I enjoy it. And I enjoy it since I’ve been here, but obviously winning has made it a lot more enjoyable.
Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal reports the Jones’ deal might be in the six year, $85 million range.
Personally, if I wanted to extend Jones’ contract and if I were in Dan Duquette’s shoes — I would have waited a year, honestly. However, I can understand why the Orioles would want a deal now. It’s much like the stock market, you buy in at the right price hoping that the investment builds up value and performs over time. Obviously, with any investment — there’s a huge risk.
Jones career stats are good, but not earth-shattering; moreover, let’s keep in mind, Jones’ hot start has been wonderful. Then again, he’s still got some flaws — he doesn’t steal much, doesn’t walk, and striked out quite a bit.
The Orioles had to make a move with Jones — much like the Jayson Werth deal in Washington — to build credibility in the sport and among the fan base.
In addition, Jones has been part of the young core of the major league club for many seasons, and it would be deflating to everyone to see him get traded or leave via free agency.
As long as the deal is for five, six years — it’s not a killer, per se. It’s not a Zimmerman, Fielder or Werth deal. Jones has a chance to get better, but he’s not in the Kemp or Braun category.
Of course it could change, but not likely. Jones is a good ballplayer.